By “The Photographer’s Assistant”
The Photographer was down to it. He was passing photographs through the Apple as though his life depended on it. He was being driven by the Assistant, who was having a chuck out. At her time of life, she had decided that family heirlooms had to be very precious indeed to be kept.
The Photographer cursed the weather. For months they had been unable to get out. There was a pile of waste for bonfiring, higher than there had ever been. He could not take the trailer over to the bonfire area, because the garden was virtually under water, particularly, near the stream.
The Assistant was wondering whether his mother had really meant to leave a small room full of stuff. Surely, as she had been dead for at least 16 years, she would not be wearing her Russian hat again, especially as she had been cremated!
The Photographer was on the attack and had come up with a scheme to temporarily halt the black bag offensive. Would the Assistant like to get her family albums out and he would archive them on the Apple too? She was struck dumb and Mother in law might survive another day. The Assistant was flat out with the old photos. This was a good distraction as her family had been photo mad and she had photos of holidays going back almost a hundred years. There were, of course, several boxes of pictures of the children, but these had already been sorted.
In a blanket box, in yet another shoe box, they had found the smallest shoe box you could possibly have with two little pairs of first shoes. One of the pairs was red and the other patent leather. Beside the box, was an exquisite little red rain coat with matching hat, beautifully kept and treasured. The two sighed, and thinking of all that had happened to their grown up children, all those tribulations and misfortunes amidst some more happy times, they put the lid on the box. They put the things back. When the two had got married and had their children, the world had been a very simple place. Not so any more, and they couldn’t really work it all out. How, for instance, in the case of the daughter about to be wed that working every hour possible still didn’t mean that she and her partner would have their own home and so on. The two had a cup of tea in companionable silence really unable to understand this modern life, so they just left it all hanging in the air.
After tea, the Photographer went upstairs with the Assistant. He knew that the next pile of stuff would not be easy. It had become very apparent from letters found in the clear out that the Assistant had really suffered from her parents’ deteriorating marriage and that as a result, one of her Aunts and her paternal grandmother, a woman in her late seventies, had taken care of her in their Welsh home to the extent that their pictures, of which there were few, were the most precious in her collection. The fact that she no longer possessed anything of theirs except these pictures drove him on. He must buck up and give a hand. When these pictures were found, he was delighted and made a special effort to restore them working hard on the contrast and brightness of the pictures.
The Photographer decided that enough was enough. If there was one thing that he and the Assistant loved it was an adventure, and he loved driving his car. He put the Assistant in his car and turned the heated seats on. They were going to Somerset for the day. Clearing out was not a good idea. It was mauling. Poop! Poop! Vroom! Vroom! What was wrong with playing Toad for the day? It was a shame that Somerset was hot on speeding. Never mind, and they were off.
They had wanted to go to an exhibition of photographs by Don McCullin, the famous war photographer for years. There was actually an exhibition close by and they weren’t going to miss it. They had a nice lunch in the gallery and the Photographer decided that his own photographs were not dark enough. The Assistant bust a little bit of her cash on a book. Next, they went to the John Leach pottery and the Assistant bought some pots. She was thrilled and they both agreed that adventure was better than turning cupboards out. What a surprise!
The Assistant wondered when The Daughter will clear out these pots and books
Do not despair. Its on its way. The birds are singing and the weather is staging a fight between winter and spring and with all this light on the Moors, spring is bound to win! You won’t have to paint that room any more. You can get outside instead and while you are at it, how’s about a nice glass of Somerset cider!